Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 02 July 2022), September 1800, trial of ALEXANDER BROMLEY JAMES VAUX (t18000917-73).

ALEXANDER BROMLEY, JAMES VAUX, Theft > pocketpicking, 17th September 1800.

660. ALEXANDER BROMLEY and JAMES VAUX were indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 17th of August , a handkerchief, value 2s. the property of William Dewell , privily from his person .

WILLIAM DEWELL sworn. - I am a plumber : On Sunday the 17th of August, about one o'clock, I had my pocket picked in Cheapside ; I had been to Wapping, and was returning home to Chancery-lane; there were a parcel of people had stopped, and I waited to see what had happened, the prisoner Vaux was near me; there had been some fastenings twisted off from the shutters; before I got four paces, I put my hand in my pocket and missed my pocket handkerchief; I turned round and saw a person have hold of Bromley, that person pointed out the other, and I went and laid hold of him; the constable had got the handkerchief.

Cross-examined by Mr. Alley. Q. How long might you have stopped? - A. About three minutes.

Q. How long before had you felt your handkerchief? - A.Just by the Mansion-house.

Q.Upon your solemn oath, you mean to swear you did not drop your handkerchief instead of putting it in your pocket? - A.I cannot.

Q.Do you know that these men are trying for an offence for which they must be hanged, if they are convicted? - A.I did not know that.

Court. Q. How came you to put your hand in your pocket? - A. I don't know why; I did it.

Court. Q. Had you no suspicion at all? - A. No, I had no suspicion of the kind.

CHARLES ALDERMAN sworn. - I was with my brother, who is an officer: On Sunday the 17th of August we saw a number of people stopping in Cheapside, we went over to see what was the matter, I saw the two prisoner very active in the crowd; in a very short time, I saw them both put their hands into the prosecutor's pocket, and take out a handkerchief, both of them had, hold of it, the biggest, Vaux, let it to go immediately.

Q. Are you sure you saw both of them with their hands in his pocket? - A. Yes; It was a cross-barred cotton handkerchief.

Q. Did you ever see two men put their hands into another man's pocket at once before? - A. No.

Q. Which of them took out the handkerchief? - A. They both had hold of it.

Q. You went before the Lord-Mayor and gave notice of this, did not you? - A. No, my brother went, and I thought that was sufficient.

Q. You did not go before the Grand Jury neither? - A. No.

Q. Were it you that advised them to be indicted for a capital offence, the prosecutor has told us he did not? - A. I did not know it was a capital offence.

Q. Upon your oath, did not you advise with your brother to make it a capital offence, in order to have two rewards? - A.Upon my oath I did not.

EDWARD ALDERMAN sworn. - I was with my brother; I saw the prisoner Bromely put his hand into the prosecutor's pocket.

Mr. Alley. Q. You are sure it was Bromely? - A. Yes, I am sure of it, and took his handkerchief out of his pocket; Vaux then caught hold of it, I seized hold of Bromely, and Vaux let go immediately; I immediately apprehended Bromely( produces the handkerchief;) I took them both to the Compter; upon searching them, I found two pocket-books, and some other handkerchiefs.

Cross-examined by Mr. Alley. Q. Do you know that you are sworn? - A. Yes.

Q. They did not both put their hands in his pocket? - A. No.

Q. Then if you brother has sworn that theydid he has told a lie? - A. That he certainly has.

Dawell. I believe this is my handkerchief, it is the same pattern, there is no mark upon it

The prisoner left their defence to their Counsel.

Bromley called six witnesses, who gave him an excellent character.

Bromley, GUILTY. (Aged 20.)

Vaux, GUILTY. (Aged 16.)

Of stealing the goods value 11d.

Transported for seven years .

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. RECORDER.